What I Did for Father’s Day

SO WHICH FATHER’S DAY EVENT DO YOU SUPPOSE I ENJOYED MOST:

a) A cookout at my in-laws, with the Tigers game on
b) Getting up at 5:30 to run the Ann Arbor Marathon
c) My daughter calling me a “badass” on Facebook for doing (b)

I think you can guess.

As for the marathon, I really enjoyed the first half of the race and felt decent until about mile 19. After that, let’s just say it was a struggle, thanks mainly to the rising heat and humidity. I made my time goal of under 4 hours (3:54) but I was pretty wiped at the finish. My coach said I looked pale, which is nothing new for the Whitest Man in America, but at her urging I went to the first aid tent and spent awhile with a cold wet towel over my head.

The finish line. Represents my physical and mental state at the time pretty well, I think.

After my recovery I talked a bit with Nancy, the head organizer of the race volunteers. She ran in college but with three young children she doesn’t have time right now to get in the proper training for distance running. I told her about our PR Fitness Wednesday and Saturday runs, so maybe we can get her back into this insane addiction fun and healthy activity.




The race was a mixed experience for me and, I think, for the city. There were lots of volunteers pointing the way, including several from the PR Fitness group (thanks, Larry, Jeff, and Stewart!) and police helping with traffic control (thank you all). The aid stations were well stocked with water, Powerade, and portajohns. We also had enthusiastic spectators, live music, and entertaining signs. From my runner’s perspective it was as well-run as any race I’ve been in.

Who said runners never smile? Oh, yes, I believe it was my mother. So there, Mom!

On the “needs improvement” side, a friend of mine who ran slower than the 6-hour cutoff got lost when they took the signs away, and wound up running only 20 of the 26.2 miles. I understand the need to re-open the streets, but they could have left some markers on the sidewalks. I saw a couple of drivers asking race volunteers “how do I get out of here” when faced with roadblocks, and AnnArbor.com had many complaints from frustrated motorists. They also could have done without the Briarwood loop, as the mall was empty and the route getting there and back was far less scenic than the downtown and the parks and Arb of the first half.

This was our town’s first marathon and there were bound to be some hiccups. I know the race directors are committed to fixing the mistakes and learning from this year’s experience, and I’m sure next year it will be even better.

Now it’s a short break from running for me, as I prepare for my Aikido test next month. My classmate Jon-san will have his test tomorrow at the Genyokan. If you get a moment, send him some positive energy.

Okay, so who am I?



Why, yes I am.

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5 responses to “What I Did for Father’s Day

  1. Sounds like an awesome Father’s Day for sure! You’re a great example and inspiration for many I’m sure! I see that you are doing the CRIM. I’m hoping to be able to do it (although only the 8k) if I can get my foot healed in time to train more. I’ve heard lots of great thing about the Dances with Dirt race too! You have a great race lineup!

    • Thanks so much! And I’ve just added Woodstock to the list, although I haven’t updated my race list yet. I will be doing the 50K there – my first ultra. Hope you recover in time for the CRIM. I’ll try to see how many other bloggers I follow are going there, too.

  2. I was taking video right by the people with the “run like you stole something” and “run til you drop” signs. If you were with or before the 4:30 pacer I’m sure I have you on there. I just need to figure out how to get it off my phone and broken up into pieces for youtube.

    • Well, I caught up with the 4:00 pacer right about then, so you’ll likely find me. Just look for a very white guy wearing sunglasses and bib #255. And thanks for visiting!

  3. I hope it was “c” . . . after all it was FATHER’S day.
    Couldn’t access the Facebook link. “Error found”

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